Readers see reasons to be thankful

I was touched by the many responses from you, when I asked you to share something that you are thankful for in this new year.

Deacon Horace Wright, who has been on dialysis for nearly 20 years, is so happy to be alive and living an abundant life, he can’t wait to reach out to others who are less fortunate. Three times every week, Wright journeys to Trinity Church on U.S. 441 in North Miami, where he sets up the machine for his own dialysis, encourages those around him who might seem a little depressed and then goes through the three hours and 45 minutes-long treatment to cleanse his blood.

"I know that on any given day, I could be the one who doesn’t make it back home," he said. "But I am so thankful that God has brought me this far, that I have a good and faithful wife, Judy, who cares and helps to keep me encouraged."

On one recent Sunday, Wright had to go for his treatment at 3 a.m. At 9 a.m. on the same day, he and his wife were pulling into the parking lot of The Church of God Tabernacle in Liberty City, where he serves as a deacon. It was a day of blessings. Wright, also one of the church’s musicians, walked like a man in his 20’s, free of any sickness. He walked over to the drums, nodding to everyone and flashing his wide, warm smile as he took his seat and the music started. His wife Judy was on the program to give a short testimony. She spoke of how her husband didn’t "miss a beat," that morning after being on dialysis for almost four hours.

"He came home, I made him breakfast and he rested a bit, and here we are, in church. I thank God for that," she said. Her husband smiled and nodded his agreement.

"Everyday is a day to give God thanks," Wright said.

The sky above

And here’s one from my former editor Maria Garcia: "I thank God for the blue sky above me as I drive to work or walk around the block. I especially thank Him for having known so many wonderful people throughout my life — you among them."

Local Jewish history

Temple Judea at 5500 Granada Blvd. in Coral Gables, will present Deborah Dash Moore in a lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Her topic is: "To the Golden City of Miami." Moore’s appearance at the temple is a part of the Baskin Memorial Lecture.

In her talk Moore, who has been a central voice in the emergence of the field of American Jewish history from the last quarter of the 20th century, will explore the circumstances that have created a unique new American Jewish identity in Miami.

An author and conference leader, Moore volunteers her time to advise graduate students and young scholars and has directed major programs and institutions that dealt with the experience of Jews in America.

She currently is the Frederick C.L. Huetwell Professor of History at the University of Michigan, where she also directs the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies. She is the author of "To the Golden Cities: Pursuing the American Jewish Dream in Miami and L.A."; and is the coauthor of "Cityscapes: A History of New York in Images", and is coauthor of the award-winning Jewish Women in America: An History Encyclopedia. Her edited works include "American Jewish Identity Politics and "Gender and Jewish History."

The lecture is free and open to the public. To make reservations or for more information email Anna at:, or call 305-667-5657.

Anniversary Mass

The deadline for couples married 25 or 50 years, to participate in the 2013 Annual Anniversary Mass, is Feb. 2. the Mass will be will be at 3 p.m. on Feb. 10, at St. Mary Cathedral, 7525 NW Second Ave. Couples who wish to participate should contact their own parish or register online by downloading the form found in the event section of the Archdiocese of Miami’s website:, and send it to the Family Life Office via fax at 305-762-1144(cq) or send an email to:

The event will include a photo session at 2 p.m., for each couple to be photographed with Archbishop Wenski. A reception will follow the Mass at 4:30 p.m.

MLK services

The community is invited to join Temple Israel of Greater Miami in honoring the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at three services, starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, when a musical tribute in the honor of the late human rights leader will be presented. The program will feature guest musicians and soloists, including performer Ananda Silva and participation by the Temple Israel Singers. Everyone is invited to remain and participate in the 7:30 p.m. Shabbat service, led by Rabbi Tom Heyn and featuring the music of "Bagels ’N Box," a duo that combines Jewish liturgical music and beat-boxing.

At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, temple members will join the members of the Church of the Open Door UCC’s morning worship service. Rabbi Heyn will be the guest speaker. the church is at 6001 NW Eighth Ave.

At 7 p.m. Monday, members of the Church of the Open Door UCC and Temple Israel will come together at the temple for a full tribute to Dr. King. Members of Faith in the City, the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews, synagogues and churches connected with those organizations and the entire community are invited to join in the tribute.

Temple Israel is at 137 NE 19th St. in Miami. For more information, call the Temple Israel office at 305-573-5900 or go to

Navy singers

As a part of its tribute to the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., St. Thomas Episcopal Church at 5690 Kendall Dr. in Coral Gables, will present the internationally acclaimed U. S. Naval Academy Women’s Glee Club in concert at 8 p.m. Sunday. The concert is a part of the choir’s MLK Weekend tour to South Florida.

The Naval Academy Women’s Glee Club is directed by Cindy Bauchspies and regularly travels around the country, representing the Naval Academy and the naval service. The Glee Club has received national acclaim for public appearances in Phoenix, AZ and Chicago. It’s most recent appearance was on the annual "Christmas in Washington" television presentation. In 2010, the Glee Club made a 10-day visit to Brazil and garnered international acclaim from ambassadors and state department officials.

It’s free and doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Peace Summit

To honor the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., will host a Peace Summit from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Universal Truth Center for Better Living, 21310 NW 37th Ave. in Miami Gardens.

According to a press release from the church, the summit is a way of seeking peaceful solutions to youth violence that has claimed the lives of teenagers and children in South Florida. It also launches the sorority’s 40 Days of Peace Campaign, bringing together clergy, church members, law enforcement officers, youth group leaders and members, and two Broward County Alpha Kappa Alpha chapters for a discussion and interactive activities in an effort to get to the root of the violence.

Workshop panelists include the Rev. Dr. Anna Price, retired University of Miami Dean and executive minister at UTC; and Therese Homer, chief of police at Miami Dade College. The summit will end with the sorority members planting trees in honor of Miami-Dade Public School students killed in violence over the past year.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Blessing of the Animals

St. Basil Catholic Church at 1475 NE 199th St. in North Miami Beach, will have its annual Blessing of the Animals at 10 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 19) on the church grounds. All neighborhood pets of all types are invited. Pets must be on a leash or caged.

Call the church at 305-651-0991 for more information.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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